Even though it's the day before Christmas, I'm guessing there are a few people out there aching to de-decorate and drag that giant pine fire hazard to the curb. Before you trash the tree, consider how you can give it a more eco-friendly send-off. Unsure if your community has a Christmas Tree recycling program? Head on over to Earth911. Christmas trees are indeed biodegradable so check out The National Christmas Tree Association for more info on ways they can be reused -- you'd be surprised. The association also offers guidance on how to start a tree recycling program if your community lacks one. Sadly, innovative ways to reuse a retired Christmas tree around the house are limited but there are several lawn and garden-oriented options, including composting, if you feel inclined to reintroduce the tree to the great outdoors. Organic Gardening has several helpful suggestions on how to do this.

And did you ever wonder what happens to those massive Christmas trees, like the one in Rockefeller Center? After the holidays, NYC's iconic Smart Tree -- a Norway Spruce that's festooned with solar powered LED lights -- will be milled and treated and transformed into green lumber. In cooperation with Habitat for Humanity, the lumber will be used to make door frames for HFH building programs in NYC, the Gulf Coast, Brazil, and India. Tree-riffic.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) reports on design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.